Islwyn credit union helps locals save £52 million
8:10am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
PEOPLE in Islwyn have saved a staggering £52 million by using their local credit union, new figures show.
The Blackwood-based organisation is celebrating its 15th birthday this year and over that period has given a total of £1.4 million in loans at one per cent interest.
It gives an average £700 out each time and when you compare the service with rates offered by High Street finance companies and payday loan companies, it has saved locals £4.4 million.
However, when you compare it with some online, high-interest national lenders that people may have been forced to use, the saving is around £52.2 million.
Austerity means many grants available to the Islwyn Credit Union have been cut.
But, with the tough economic times meaning people are being faced with huge economic challenges, its chairman of directors, Cllr Nigel Dix, called for more funding, for a service he called “vital”
in keeping people from the jaws of so-called loan sharks.
Islwyn Credit Union was set up in 1998 with 21 members and volunteer staff. It now has 970 members, six collection points and its own building off Blackwood High Street.
It has already loaned out £176,000 in 2013 to members who qualify to join by living in Islwyn or working for Caerphilly council.
As well as the 700 adult members who keep savings of £330,000, there are 270 juniors, who are also receiving the one per cent interest rate on their savings that total £13,000.
There are now credit unions set up at Markham, Trinant and Pengam junior schools that pupils run themselves.
Cllr Dix added: “It is owned by its members is more important than ever.”
For details, call 01495 222832.